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Pro*Whoa! - EP

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Customer Reviews

Nikka's Latest EP Dives "Head First" Into New, If Inconsistent, Territories

"Pro*Whoa!", Nikka Costa's latest EP, doesn't mark the first uncertain turn in her career, but it sure leaves a lot of questions. Straying from the beaten path, Costa separated from her major music label instead to pursue her own tastes, and released one of her best albums because of it - 2008's "Pebble To A Pearl". Now comes the follow-up EP, a 6-track piece of experimental tunes testing Costa's range in new territories. For Costa fans, the EP will feel slightly familiar and alien simultaneously.

"Head First" takes Costa into androgynous Prince-like coos, laid over some seriously funky bass lines and high synths. It's slinky and sexy for sure but highly unlike Costa, especially for an album opener. Gone almost entirely is Costa's signature voice, which is perhaps her best used instrument. Instead, Costa holds back, staying soft and tamed. For a song about sexual odyssey's, it's surprisingly sub-par. The album continues into even stranger instrumental trips, warping and tripping over instruments until a fluid melody arrives.

The most familiar, and welcome, addition to the EP is the title track itself, 'Pro*Whoa!'. For Costa fans, it will be familiar and welcome. The swagger, the vulgarity, the ferocity? All of Costa's trademarks are in fine display here, as she uses Jimi Hendrix-like electric guitar licks over her spitfire rhymes. List-checking all her accomplishments as an industry survivor lasting decades over and over, Costa culminates it all with fiercely catchy taunt: "Come and get some!" This is the Costa fans are most comfortable with. "Pro*Whoa!"'s licks will be the happiest display of Costa on the EP.

The joy of the "Pro*Whoa!" single doesn't last long as, again, the final tracks on this EP appear out of place. "Stuff" is as bland a track as it's title implies while "Chase The Thrill" seems like a 90's Bond theme that lost the competition (it's more akin to Sheryl Crow's "Tomorrow Never Dies" than Tina Turner's "Goldeneye"). Costa, in all her funky and brassy glory seems quite fitting for a big, cinematic Bond theme. But "Chase The Thrill" is not the theme she deserves, and sadly, I wouldn't call it her "Goldfinger" classic.

What a fan is left with at the end of this album is a mixture of emotions, wondering what direction Costa was aiming for in it's creation. Early leaks of other tracks like "Ching Ching Ching" saw Costa ready to expand her funk into synth-soul, a la Mark Ronson's "Bang Bang Bang". But unfortunately, that track didn't make the cut. What did make the cut feels like scraps from her EGTS demos, or even earlier experiments. It doesn't leave much room for Costa to evolve. Rather, diving head first only leads to taking a step back.

Thank god shes back!

This cd is redic just f!?@$in buy it

Love It!

Nikka you always come out with great material and this project is no exception. Job well done! I can't wait to see you on tour this summer! This album is indeed worth purchasing. Keep it coming!


Born: June 4, 1972 in Tokyo, Japan

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The daughter of famed arranger/producer Don Costa and goddaughter of her father's longtime client, Frank Sinatra, R&B vocalist Nikka Costa is no stranger to the music business. Born on June 4, 1972, she landed her first gig at age five, when she opened for the Hawaiian entertainer Don Ho. Two years later, a young Costa wowed 300,000 Police fans in Chile. The burgeoning singer was a natural talent, and her childhood gigs paved the way for a fruitful career. Costa went back and forth between Los...
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Pro*Whoa! - EP, Nikka Costa
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